Recently, I observed a debate on the Anthropoper site about secrecy in the Anthroposophical Society which I found quite interesting. We thought Our Spirit readers might like to see the interesting comments from “Anonymous,” with which I agree. I cleaned up the post and removed the names of other people and their intermediary posts, so that the content could stand alone as an independent statement. I hope you will find it interesting.
Thank you Jeremy for letting me join the group.
A little background on me so you can frame what I have to say about the topic of this thread. I have been a member of the First Class of the Free High School of Spiritual Science for four decades, a member of the Youth Circle (Kreis) for 35 years, a Waldorf teacher for 35 years, and have been a co-worker in Camphill Communities, and worked in numerous other Anthroposophical endeavors. I have belonged to various Sections over the decades and have been friends with numerous members of the Vorstand in Dornach. I have taught Waldorf education in Spring Valley, Detroit and Fair Oaks. I was a Christian Community server for decades.
Concerning the topic of Frank Thomas Smith printing the First Class materials in his newsletter, Southern Cross Review, I must first say that when Frank first published it I was shocked that any First Class member would break their vow and put the meditations in print. I made my displeasure known to Frank in the comments section of the Review. Frank informed me that it was OK because he was not a First Class member and therefore was not breaking the vow.
But in all fairness to Frank, Dornach had already put the entire First Class Lessons and mantras into a book in German — then later into English. We had to be “approved” to buy copies of the books. I got the books. I knew then that the “elemental beings” involved in the vows and the secrecy had “flown the coop” at that time and it was widely discussed by Class members that the true nature of the First Class ended when the meditations were put into print – against the strict instructions of Rudolf Steiner. Each Class member had to take an oath, a vow, that the meditations only be written down by hand and that the book that they were written into must be returned to Dornach upon the death of the Class member so that NO ONE would ever see the meditations. When Dornach released the books, the vow was no longer valid and did not bind the Class member any longer – or at least that is what we were told. The Class lessons came into the hands of enemies of Anthroposophy and were used for all kinds of mischief and nonsense.
With that in mind, I still believe that Frank, and T. H. Meyers, have abnegated the vows of secrecy, whether they took those vows personally themselves or not, in full consciousness and have subsequently fallen under the karmic consequences involved in making the Class materials public no matter what their reason for doing so. I have told Frank these ideas before and he simply refuses to address the topic. That is why I am happy to respond now in an open and honest environment where these ideas can be discussed in all fairness without anger and threats.
As with the First Class, the Youth Circle meditation is held as sacred by those who practice it three times a day, Morning-Noon-Night. It too has a set of oaths and vows that you must take to be a member (in my experience). The Circle is much more guarded and protected than the First Class. There are strange rules of secrecy and stranger rules concerning what one must do to “get into” the Circle.
I was taught that every Circle member vows never to speak of the Circle and never admit that it exists except to other members. If someone comes up to a Circle member and says, “I believe that you are a member of the Circle and I would like to apply,” the Circle member cannot yet admit that the Circle exists or that they are members. The Circle member takes the request back to the Circle and tells them and they discuss whether they will “take” the person in. A unanimous vote is required to become a member. Therefore, some members take those rules to mean that “no one gets in” and “no one finds out” about the Circle. That is what keeps the Circle small, elite, and exclusive.
The Esoteric Youth Circle meditation can be used by people who are not in the Anthroposophical Society or the First Class. The Circle was fashioned during the course of lectures entitled, The Younger Generation, which was given to young people who might not have been members of the Anthroposophical Society.
The Circle creates a secret in-group that some people suspect exists but they cannot penetrate because one or another member of the Circle might not approve of the person – even if they found out about it and asked to join.
Waldorf schools, as the main Anthroposophical islands of culture, tended to have older members connected to the schools and thus the Circle was at the heart of Waldorf schools and their politics. The “in-crowd” feeling that Circle members give off is tangible and certainly does add an air of distrust and misgiving. Therefore, it is true that Circle members – especially if initiated by Ernst Lehrs himself (which I was fortunate enough to be) had a part of Anthroposophy that other members of the Society did not have.
This type of in-crowd feeling (ethnocentricism) was also true with the rituals of the Christian Community, their prayers, meditations, and Steiner’s lectures to priests. Steiner also gave the “reverse cultus” rituals found in the Sunday services in Camphill communities. Both the First Class and the Camphill community share part of a meditation which is often called “The Tableau” – a wonderful verse of Steiner’s that begins the First Class lessons. The reverse cultus ritual Steiner gave to the Camphill community originated with the religion lessons in the First Waldorf School in Stuttgart and evolved into a beautiful service that is the “opposite” of the Christian Community Act of Consecration of Man.
The Youth Circle meditation is not found in the same mantric form anywhere else (that I know of) but is quite similar to the Esoteric Lessons Steiner gave while still in the Theosophic Society. The “content” of the First Class, Rudolf Steiner said, could be found in Anthroposophy but not the mantric words. These mantric words, like the Foundation Stone Meditation, combined with exact daily and weekly rhythms can help accelerate spiritual development. Of course, the “content” of the First Class is found in the lecture series, The Guardian of the Threshold.
The vow to protect the mantric content of a secret spiritual group should be considered to be serious. Steiner called on the “elementals” of North, South, East, and West again and again in the Foundation Stone. These are consequential beings who help create a “group soul” of the secret participants and do not dissolve until the elementals are consciously disenchanted – disincarnated or dissolved.
The vows of the First Class and the Circle are quite serious. There are other vows I took in the complete induction process. There were “secret” lectures of Steiner’s on the meditations – just as in the First Class.
The Camphill reverse cultus is open for everyone in the community but it is “shocking” in a way. Black candles and the mighty incantation of the guardian are not typical. It is very powerful and moving. The Christian Community is a continuation of a “cultus” that Steiner rewrote, remade, and re-enlivened. It was the renewal of the seven sacraments. The Camphill reverse cultus was a new creation and one of a kind.
We can find that the element of rhythm is even more profound with the Youth Circle meditation. Each member must, at noon sharp, find a place and do the meditation. This alerts attentive people to the secret practice of the elite. I believe that Steiner did not want that at all. Steiner clearly said in the lectures on the Circle that the rhythm of the practice of the collective Youth Circle would someday “encircle” the earth like a “wave.” This etheric connection would unite the group in a higher group-soul to advance Steiner’s work, even if the Youth Circle member did not agree with the “old” Anthroposophists.
The Waldorf teachers have secret meditations that are profound. Anthroposophical doctors also have special meditations that are “protected.” Every Section of the Anthroposophical Society has secret meditations. I could go into why I know this – but that is another conversation.
The distinction between Dornach, the Society, and the Collected Edition should be made – of course in German to be accurate — sorry, I am an American and don’t speak German. You are right to make the clear distinction. Your remark made me realize that the topic of this thread is truly connected to that very distinction. Marie Steiner wanted to keep Steiner’s lectures to members (and thus the First Class and other privileged material) secret and only available to members of the Anthroposophical Society. Again, I agree with Marie. This disagreement was one of the things that caused infighting and the eventual expulsion of some members. Of course, there were many other issues also. But at the heart of this disagreement is whether private (secret) works of Steiner should be made public. We have seen who won that dispute. I am on the loser’s side.
The issue of the Threefold Society in relationship to the Youth Circle is pivotal. The course of lectures – The Younger Generation – is sometimes seen as an educational lecture series and sometimes as a Threefold Social Order lecture series. Most of the Youth Circle were interested in Waldorf education and therefore there is an educational focus in The Younger Generation lectures. But the deed of creating a separate “Independent School” for the youth started great controversies in Steiner’s time and much jealousy came forth and is still, even if subliminally, a force of divisiveness. The First Class and the Circle became counterpoints of the old guard and the upstart youth, who in some cases might not be a member of the First Class or the Anthroposophical Society. The special attention that Steiner gave the Youth Circle members caused a strong sense of separateness, secrecy, envy and jealousy.
I participated in the First Class and the Circle in many locations in America and Europe. It was made perfectly clear what the rules were. If a person could be “tricked” with a leading question to admit that they were members – then what was the point of secrecy? I know some Circle members who talked to others about the circle who were not members. This was frowned upon and could result in being kicked out of the Circle. It is certainly possible that I might have been exposed to various “local rules” that only applied to certain groups. I don’t know. I only know what I experienced.
The rhythms of the three parts of the Circle meditation do not change with the cycle of the year as someone asked. There were monthly meetings of the Circle to discuss the “effects” of the meditation on Circle members. I have not seen the meditations change over time; they have always been the same and I have heard of no additions.
In terms of the “rules” concerning the First Class; it was made perfectly clear that First Class lessons and mantras were not supposed to be typed, only handwritten.There were no such restrictions on the Circle meditations that I was ever made aware of in my experience.
I have heard that the Vorstand wants to co-opt the Circle into the First Class or at least into the Anthroposophical Society. I don’t know if this is true, but if it is, I don’t think that would be in keeping with the tenor of the Circle. I can see why the Society (Free High School of Spiritual Science) would want to bring the Youth Circle (the Independent Esoteric School for Youth) under Dornach’s umbrella. The Society already has a Section for Youth that has been very problematic over the years and caused deep rifts in the Society over just this issue of the Independent Esoteric School for Youth (Circle). Keeping the meditation as an exclusive meditation for only “properly inducted” members was often the issue.
Now that the “secrets” of the Circle (and First Class) are in print for anyone to read, one would think that this would dispel the problems. But I for one, don’t agree that they should be in print in any fashion – either the Class or the Circle. Elemental beings are associated with those meditations and the vows and oaths around them. These are seriously consequential beings who should not be made light of and whose power is certainly affecting those who take on the karma of printing them for the public eye.
There is another “hidden” meditation attributed to the Second Class of the Free High School of Spiritual Science that also has an underground following. It was never duly instituted by Rudolf Steiner. But, the knowledge of it is similar to the ethnocentricism surrounding the First Class, the Circle, and other secret groups inside of each “Section” of the Anthroposophical Society.
I share this meditation in contradistinction to Frank sharing the “secret” mantras of the First Class. The Second Class is not secret but is treated that way by many who possess it.
The following is the introductory lesson to the 2nd Class of the High School of Spiritual Science as given by Rudolf Steiner on his sickbed to Count Polzer-Hoditz, Guenther Wachsmuch, his brother, the Vorstand and K.(unknown).
To use your thinking as a snail, touching four stages of sleeping/waking
I A O
Catch the butterfly
Send it to icy heights,
Where the world-dreams hold sway,
It becomes a bird to you
Then half the operation is completed.
I A O U E
The bird dives into the sea’s depths
Where the World-Will works
Drown (sink) the bird
Then there still remains something for you to do
The bird’s corpse to burn
In the fire, purifyingly
Then consume the ashes
And you are the light in the World Darkness.
It is my understanding that the First Class works on the astral body crossing the threshold and that Ita Wegman was its leader; the Second Class was to work on the Etheric body and was to be lead by Marie Steiner; and the Third Class was to work on the physical body and was to be lead by Rudolf Steiner.
The Circle was supposed to develop clairvoyance through the common meditative work of the Circle members. The initial idea of the Youth Circle was to be a “circle” of 12 people gathered around Rudolf Steiner, the 13th, copying the example of “The Friend of God from the Oberland” – Der Gottesfreund vom Oberland. Steiner didn’t want this and instead gave the Circle meditation. But Steiner gave the “transmission” of the spiritual aspect of the “group work” to each of the initial members and they in turn could give the “transmission” to others. I received that transmission from Ernst Lehrs. Thus, even within the “hidden” Circle is yet another group who received the transmission from an original member.
These types of transmissions, from someone Steiner gave the transmission to, existed within a few Sections of Anthroposophy and the “privileged” meditations are still guarded as secret to this day. Something similar can be experienced with the original founders of the Christian Community and the Camphill movement. Many people in both of these communities are members of the Circle and may not be members of the Anthroposophical Society.
Ernst Lehrs was “held” on the Isle of Man during the war along with Karl Koenig and Willi Sucher. Lehrs surely gave the transmission to both of them which would explain why the Camphill communities and many astrosophers (followers of Sucher) are members of the Circle.
In 2012, I took a survey from a lady who said she worked at Emerson College, about being a member of the Circle. I never saw any results on that but it underscores the interest in the Circle.
What I am saying is, there are still other groups within the Society that I belong to that are similar. I have just been fortunate enough to be invited into these groups.
CW 265 appears in English as: The Misraim Service Freemasonry and Ritual Work, SteinerBooks, 2007. A compilation of information about the “beginnings” of the Second Class can be found in Part III, starting on page 448 and goes through 500.
In these pages you will find all that you need to know to see that the last Esoteric Lessons Steiner gave to the Wachsmuth-Lerchenfeld Esoteric School group (which included the Vorstand) – who were the very people cited at the top of the page I provided. Thus, the people present according to the post, were the people he gave the “Butterfly” or “Falter” meditation to. You will also note that I “said that I was told” that the Second Class effects the etheric body. On page 475 it states: “The imagination of the Butterfly Meditation has an etheric effect.”
Marie Steiner is quoted on page 455: “He [Steiner] was not of the opinion that one could practice esotericism as in former times, in deep isolation and with strictly binding vows.” And again later: “In Class II much of what he had given us in the Mystica Aeterna would flow into it imaginatively and that in Class III this would have been transformed into moral strength.”
Part of the Mystica Aeterna (cognitive ritual work – freemasonry- Misraim Lodge) work was transformed into the Foundation Stone Meditation (see page 461-463) and pieces of the Esoteric Lessons can be seen transformed into the Cognitive Ritual Work. Steiner’s Theosophic Esoteric Section work began his “secret” lessons that transformed into masonic work, and then into Rosicrucian work, and then the founding of the Free Religion lessons in the first Waldorf School through Herbert Hahn (Youth Circle Member) which later flowed into the Sunday school lessons of the Christian Community. These lessons were called “Wellsprings of the Soul” and there is a working group of people who study these lessons together- I used to be a member. The founding of the Free High School of Spiritual Science incorporated many elements of previous work and the “Tableau – O Man Know Thyself” was used in numerous groups, including: the Circle, the First Class, and other groups. It is not uncommon at all that Rudolf Steiner shared meditations between groups.
I believe it is incorrect to assume that an Esoteric School lesson could not be the new “open” Class II. Even Marie Steiner said Rudolf had already given indications on the Class II meditations (taken from the Mystica Aeterna and Esoteric School lessons) and the content of the lessons (about the School of Michael) and stated clearly that it will not require the types of vows and secrecy that Class I (First Class) requires. The Second Class was to be open and working with imaginations of the previous schools. The Butterfly meditation is exactly that, and if you add the other verses that were said before and after the Butterfly meditation (found in the book) – you have a complex set of rituals and meditations that go beyond any other Esoteric Lesson and resemble a freemasonic type construct.
If you read the full set of opening mantras, the Butterfly Meditation, and the closing mantras – and then add the content of the three Esoteric Lessons given to the Vorstand and the others (Wachsmuth-Lerchenfeld group), you have the “beginnings” of where the Second Class was going.
Steiner pointed out that he had tried to start up the Esoteric School after the war but members of the groups kept doing inappropriate things – especially sharing the lessons without the proper instruction from a qualified person. It was Ita Wegman who was tasked with helping the First Class members spiritually grow with the meditations. Steiner personally oversaw the Esoteric School and that was not working very well, and thus Steiner’s disappointment with many students both in the Esoteric School and the First Class.
I believe that the founding of the Esoteric Youth Section (Circle) was an attempt similar to the “beginnings” of the Second Class which used similar mantras and had a similar impulse to take esotericism out of the exclusive realm of the Anthroposophical Society and share it more openly with the world – especially since members were revealing the lessons to others.
Circle members didn’t have to be members of the Anthroposophical Society. Perhaps the second class was to be similarly open and not secret.
It seems obvious that the content of the Butterfly meditation focuses on the etheric body. It is an alchemical imagination that takes the reader through various stages of alchemy.
When I was brought into the Second Class by a Vorstand member in Dornach in 1976, I was then introduced to numerous other people, including other Vorstand members, who believed that the full set of meditations (that I describe above) were certainly the “beginnings” of the Second Class. There were no vows or promises and the material was not secret and could be shared with others as long as the “full instructions” were provided so that the meditation might have its full effects. I have discussed this Second Class with many Anthroposophists.
All of these groups have secrecy around them, including the First Class. Printing these materials without the support of a qualified person to oversee and help make the meditations more effective is not a good idea. Look at Edith Maryon’s notes and you will see what I mean. This particular meditation is an open secret that you cannot figure out without the oral instructions. Even the full text, from pages 451-500, only scratches the surface of what the Butterfly meditation is implying. I dare say that it is nearly unintelligible without the secret transmission. In one part of the Butterfly meditation you are supposed to enter the stream of the etheric and go forward and backward in time. This is, in fact, a way to enter the Akashic Records. I don’t think the casual reader will find much use in this most profound Steiner mediation.
Personally, I find the Comte de Saint Germain’s poem even more aligned with the alchemical symbols in the Butterfly meditation.
PHILOSOPHICAL SONNET by Saint-Germain
“Curious scrutator of all nature,
I have seen gold thick in the depths of the double mercury.
I have seized its substance and surprised its changing.
I explain by that art the soul with the womb of a mother,
Make its home, take it away, and as a kernel
Placed against a grain of wheat, under the humid pollen;
The one plant and the other vine-stock, are the bread and wine.
NOTHING was, God willing, NOTHING became something,
I doubted it, I sought that on which the universe rests,
NOTHING preserves the equilibrium and serves to sustain.
Then, with the weight of praise and of blame.
I weighed the eternal, it called my soul,
I died, I adored, I knew NOTHING more.”
–trans. Manley Palmer Hall in Sages & Seers, from original ms. in British Museum
This poem is, in my opinion, an alchemical doorway to our higher selves – but only if the reader understands the full meaning of the alchemical symbols. The same is true, in my opinion, with Steiner’s Butterfly meditation. I believe that it is the “beginnings” of the Second Class and that many Anthroposophists have been using this meditation as the Second Class since it was given.
In the English volume of CW265, that I keep referring to, there is an insinuation to the true “cause” of the burning of the Goetheanum and it had to do with the first Christian Community Act of Consecration of Man Steiner performed before the first Christian Community (CC) priests in a hall of the First Goetheanum. I have known four of those original priests and they have all confirmed the story I am about to tell you. This is only slightly referred to in print in obscure “secret” CC papers that I have read.
Steiner insinuates in CW265 that the cause of the fire was because he used the incensor, candle holders, snuffers, and other “regalia” that had been previously used in the freemasonic rituals of the Mystica Aeterna in the Act of Consecration.
The elementals of the previous “old rituals” should not have been carried forward into the new elementals created by the rituals of the Christian Community. These points have been verified by the priests I mentioned.
They also tell about what happened on the day of the first Act of Consecration of Man. Four soon to be CC priests were walking with Steiner on the way from his house to the Goetheanum and the wind was blowing hard. One of them asked why Steiner had chosen such a difficult day, according to planetary transiting aspects, to enact this first Act of Consecration. Steiner answered that it was a difficult day that he chose because he believed that if something new can overcome negative aspects, then it will live for a long time.
Then suddenly, a slate tile from the roof of the Goetheanum was blown off and flew down toward Steiner and came so close to his head that it cut part of his hat off. Steiner was unaffected and continued to walk. The wind was blowing wildly. When they entered the hall where the altar was set up, a workman was attaching security chains to a massive window that was directly above the altar. The priests told the workman to get down and finish the work later. Steiner told him to stay and finish. He did. Then the service started and during it the window was blown open and fell out the frame. Had the security chains not been attached, the huge window would have killed Steiner.
The CC priests believed that the forces working against the founding of the Christian Community attempted to kill Steiner twice that day but did not succeed. But, because of the mixing of elemental forces from the regalia, the Goetheanum would be sacrificed in fire instead of Steiner’s life so that the Christian Community could “last for a long time to come.”
Revealing secrets is a powerful deed that many are not ready to be responsible for. T. H. Meyer in his printing of the First Class materials tries to justify his betrayal by using a dubious quote supposedly from Marie Steiner to justify his actions. I think Frank Thomas Smith, T. H. Meyers, and all the people on Dornach hill that release secret texts will suffer elemental karma that they probably won’t understand.
Vows of secrecy are not relinquished because of personal, petty interests. The Furies (the human conscience) will chase the moral soul until the elementals are consciously meet and dissolved.
The Second Class was an imaginative attempt to embody freemasonic principals, as CW 265 clearly points out. Another source of inspiration for the Second Class was Novalis’ novel, Heinrich von Ofterdingen’s Kingsohr’s Fairy Tale. Even a superficial reading of this most marvelous of fairy tales shows that Novalis used alchemical and freemasonic images and themes to display the transformation of the human being that is found in the Butterfly mediation. Novalis’ fairy tale is worth a life-time of study.
Steiner’s freemasonry (cognitive rituals) called Mystica Aeterna came principally from the Memphis Misraim Lodge work that was prior to Steiner’s freemasonic work. Anyone who has a copy of the Memphis Misraim Lodge work can see that Steiner’s Misraim Lodge is quite similar to the original.
Also, the Butterfly meditation sounds similar to a few poems of A. E. (George W. Russell) a well-known Theosophical leader who exhibited paintings and poetry at the Theosophical Congress that Steiner was involved in. Steiner would have been quite familiar with A. E.’s works because of their prominent place in the Theosophical Society.
George William (A. E.) Russell (1867–1935).
Collected Poems by A.E. 1913.
The Heavens lay hold on us; the starry rays
Fondle with flickering fingers brow and eyes:
A new enchantment lights the ancient skies.
What is it looks between us gaze on gaze;
Does the wild spirit of the endless days
Chase through my heart some lure that ever flies?
Only I know the vast within me cries
Finding in thee the ending of all ways.
Ah, but they vanish; the immortal train
From thee, from me, depart, yet take from thee
Memorial grace: laden with adoration
Forth from this heart they flow that all in vain
Would stay the proud external powers that flee
After the chase in burning exultation.
One of my favorite Goethe poems that addresses the question of human alchemical transformation is:
The Holy Longing
by Goethe: trans. Robert Bly
Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
Because the mass man will mock it right away,
I praise what is truly alive,
What longs to be burned to death.
In the calm of the love night,
Where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
A strange feeling comes over you
When you see the silent candle burning.
Now you are no longer caught
In the obsession with darkness,
And a desire for higher love-making
Sweeps you upward.
Distance does not make you falter,
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
And, finally, insane for the Light,
You are the butterfly and you are gone.
And so long as you haven’t experienced
This: to die and so to grow,
You are only a troubled guest
On the dark earth.
Decades ago the Circle did run things around Waldorf schools and teacher training institutes. They also had the habit of “inviting” rich donors into the Circle though they weren’t very experienced with Anthroposophy and the rules were broken in their manner of entering the Circle. I saw this happen in America and Europe numerous times. But to insinuate that the Circle runs the Society is incorrect in my opinion. The Circle may be in charge in some casual way but certainly not consciously. The Circle is a small group of insiders much smaller than the First Class. The Second Class “beginnings” is completely informal and open. That is why I share it here.
To believe that Rudolf Steiner “invented” his own freemasonic work without building on the work of the Memphis & Misraim Lodge is simply naïve. No doubt Steiner changed the rites to serve his purposes but the rituals he used are very similar to those of the Misraim Lodge. Note the connection between the OTO and the Misraim Lodge in Germany with Theodor Reuss in the quote below. These ideas can be verified through other sources also but I thought it might be helpful to see what we are talking about. And be assured that Steiner’s use of the Misraim Lodge material was secret.
From: The Compleat Rite of Memphis, Allen H. Greenfile Hon. 95 Ritus Memphis et Misraim, Luxor Press, 1998.
“The principle seat of the ancient mysteries was at Memphis. They were to two kinds, the greater and the lesser; the former taught by the Priest of Isis and Serapis, the latter by those of Osiris.”
“The mortal who shall travel over this road alone without hesitancy or looking behind, shall be punished by fire, by water and by air, and if he can surmount the fear of death he shall emerge from the bosom of the earth.”
(Similar to the images of the Falter meditation which is a summary of the Mystica Aeterna freemasonic work)
“Upon the legacy of the Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro arose the Rite of Mizraim, the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis.”
(The Misraim Lodge first appeared as): “The Rite of Mizraim, possesses 90 degrees, divided into 4 series, and was established in 1805. The initiations are an imitation of the Egyptian mysteries and enclose a pure morality.”
“Samuel Honis of Cairo established the French Primitive Rite of Philalethes, the Mizraim Lodge, at Montauban on April 30th, 1815.”
“The Franco-Haitian and Spanish branches of the Rites of Memphis and Misraim, in 1921, completely gave up the Masonic ritual degrees in favor of considering these to be ecclesiastical empowerments associated with ordination and consecration rather than ritual initiation.”
“On September 24, 1902 E. V. Yarker (John Yarker) and Associates Chartered a Grand Lodge of Memphis & Misraim for the German Empire, with Theodor Reuss (96th degree) as Grand Master. Yarker’s designated leadership for this body coincides and overlaps with the original leadership of the OTO or Ordo Templi Orientis, which Reuss incorporated into the Rites of Memphis and Misraim.”
“The Rites of Misraim and Memphis (28th degree) claimed absolute sovereignty over all others, and the system adopted closely resembled that of the ancient Egyptian mysteries.”
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